The maîtresse-en-titre (French: [mɛtʁɛs ɑ̃ titʁ]) was the chief royal mistress of the King of France.[1] The title came into use during the reign of Henry IV and continued through the reign of Louis XV. It was a semi-official position which came with its own apartments.[2] In contrast, the title petite maîtresse was the title of a mistress who was not officially acknowledged.

From the reign of Louis XIV, the term has often been applied, both in translation ("official mistress") and in the original French, to refer to the main mistress of any monarch or prominent man when his relationship with her is not clandestine, e.g. Vibeke Kruse, Nell Gwynn, Jeanne Baptiste d'Albert de Luynes, Lola Montez, Magda Lupescu.

French royal mistresses with the position of Maîtresse-en-titreEdit

While the King may have many mistresses, there were normally only one official Maîtresse-en-titre. Below are examples of those with this position. For a full list of all the mistresses of a French King, regardless of their position as official or not, please see List of French royal mistresses.

Charles V of France

Charles VI of France

Charles VII of France

Louis XI of France

Francis I of France

Henry II of France

Henry III of France

Henry IV of France

Louis XIV of France

Louis XV of France

Louis XVIII of France

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lewis, Brenda Ralph (2016-07-15). The Untold History of the Kings and Queens of Europe. ISBN 9781502619099.
  2. ^ Hunter-Stiebel, Penelope; Leyzour, Philippe Le; Baumont, Olivier (2008). "La volupté du goût: La peinture française au temps de madame de Pompadour".

External linksEdit